>> if we fail to act, the assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. >> barack obama keeps up the pressure on syria but says he will push for the deal on chemical weapons. hello i'm divica pollan. still ahead. the military has the rebels surrounded but the lives of nearly 200 hostages are at stake. nigerian villagers are pushing the shelf for damages five years after deaf
devastating oil spill. and a sour note: why this famous new york opera house could be weeks from closing. u.s. president barack obama says he will push for an international deal for syria to give up its chemical weapons. he would push for diplomacy for now but would be ready if that failed. whether to back military action would be postponed. secretary of state john kerry will meet russia's foreign minister next week. and in a separate development sources at the state department have told al jazeera that kerry will also meet syria's foreign minister. admits that his country does
have chemical weapons and says it is ready to sign up to a treaty backing them. for more on that an obama's speech here is patty culhane. >> uses the same arguments to try to convince the majorities of the american people and members of congress the u.s. should strike the syrian military. so far he's been unsuccessful. arguing a response is morally needed and justified and that the u.s. is in the unique position to send a message. chemical weapons can't be used. but he did say there is a chance diplomacy can work. the president embracing the plan his own staff at first dismissed as unlikely while taking some of the credit for it. >> over the last few days we've seen some encouraging signs. in part, because of the credible threat of u.s. military action, as well as constructive talks that i had with president putin,
the russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing assad to give up his chemical weapons. >> the syrian foreign minister said syria will sign the ban on chemical weapons and destroy its stock piles. >> we'll willing to locate the stock of chemical weapons stop production of the chemical weapons and show these to the united nations member states, aims to end the possession of all chemical weapons. >> us secretary of state john kerry will meet with sergei lavrov on wednesday to talk about what to do next. first, the u.s. should remove the use of force. >> obviously this all makes sense and only can work if we hear the american side and all those who support the united states reject the use of force. >> the president made clear he isn't moving u.s. navy
destroyerdestroyers currently oe coast of syria. the possibility of a strike by delaying the use of them, by giving critics a chance partly because he doesn't have the votes. >> i think the president has decided to slow this down because nothing is work the way i believe he and his advisors have thought it would. >> his top aids make the arguments he repeated on tuesday. pollsters and politician he have been told they don't want to intervene in syria. hoping a new speech and a new setting begins to change that. patty culhane al jazeera washington. so obama is pushing for diplomacy on syria's chemical weapons, but some of the are actions have been frustrated.
>> here at the united nations, i think it's fair to say that all of the countries that sit on the security council generally support the overall idea that syria should give up its chemical weapons and hand them to the international community so they can't be used and eventually can be destroyed. the problem is in the detail. how do you get to that? how construct a resolution? we have two different plans, the russians say they have a plan, the french have a draft resolution that they haven't shown to any other nations yet. i think that's where it get contentious. the french said they want the assad regime to turn over the chemical weapons, the sootd regime -- the assad regime says they weren't behind that attack. the problem for syria an the allies money too, the idea that a french plan would be drawn up
under chapter 7, that would mean a bigger force, if assad did not comply with what was in the resolution. >> former diplomat and chairman of the russian so it with arab countries. he joins us from washington. thanks for coming on. the russians says they have a issue with the french resolution. why do the french have an issue with that? are they not confident that syria will comply fully? >> it is ill logical suggestion of french godges. bought syrian government agreed to accept the conditions together with russian president, russian foreign minister, who agreed to give up under u.n.
control chemical weapon. and that's why it shows very clearly, when america and russia joint efforts, or joined their efforts for achieving a solution, solution will come. but when america is trying to do everything by itself, it is confronted russian position. because russia doesn't consider it is necessary to threat country who agreed with the suggestion. why we should treat syria and government in such way? that's the reason why. it's illogical. >> wasn't -- if i could interrupt -- >> they are undermining the russian offer. they are undermining. >> i understand that. but wasn't it the threat of force that pushed a resolution to the table that made syria agree to giving up it's chemical weapons and even admitting that it has chemical weapons?
>> look, first of all: russia is a strong supporter of an idea, nonproliferation, of any weapon of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical any kind. and russia pushed this idea in the middle east for a very long time. who is opposing it? opposing the united states because they don't want to touch israeli potential, nuclear potential. so when we are now talking about chemical weapon in syria it is correspond, basic approach to middle east, there is no weapons of mass destruction should be there. in this point we met american very clearly. but now they are turn to americans. are they ready to acknowledge that our efforts is joint
manner, give the result? why they refuse to cooperate in other fields, to peaceful solution of syrian crisis. >> right, okay. >> they insist syrian regime to change the regime? why should we do that? we should provide one solution, give the syrians to elect under strong international control. why not. >> we are going to have to leave it there. it was very good to speak to you. thank you. >> thank you. to some other news now. an explosion has severely damaged a libyan foreign ministry building in the eastern city of benghazi. witnesses say a car bomb caused the blast. there are no reports of casualties yet. this explosion comes on the first anniversary of the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. four americans including the ambassador was killed.
rebel fighters have killed at least five are leaders in thailand. pickup carrying undercover persons on the road. veronica fill us in on what has happened. >> this seems to be a carefully planned ambush. on the -- undercover police were actually on a mission to try and seize, elicit posses petrol, ga, from southern thailand. it seems the ambush occurred with militants in a pickup truck in front of them and a car behind them. the question that people are asking is: how the militants knew about the undercover
operation. that seems to be the unusual part of this killing. all five police officers in the vehicle were killed. this is something that happened, though, every day to teachers, and to soldiers and to police officers. they are regular targets in a conflict that has been dragging on for several years now. >> veronica give us some context here. at one point the government and some of the rebels were talking about a peace deal but that seems to have fallen apart and since then the violence has picked up. >> the peace process is still ongoing. if you talk to both sides they say they do want to continue. the problem is that the arrasan revoluce nationale which is one of the rebel groups involved. they have five conditions to make sure they say the government actually wants to
resolve their problem through peace talks. their talks were stalled as you say for a while, but the overall progress does continue. the problem is, the violence continues, too. and there are spoilers in the process, who don't want to see it succeed. >> veronica pedrosa with the latest from thailand, thank you very much. and plenty more still to come on this program. running out of fuel. we'll tell you how gaza has been hit by egypt's plan to shut down border tunnels. and the man who has been voted the new president of the international olympic committee.
>> hello again, you're watching al jazeera. let me take you to our top stories. u.s. president barack obama has made his case for a possible attack on syria in a televised address. but he said the u.s. will procure the russian plans to get syria to turn over chemical weapons. plans to discuss these plans kerry is likely to meet the syrian foreign minister later this month. an explosion has severely damaged a libya foreign ministry building in the city of benghazi. witnesses say a car bomb caused the blast. this comes on the first anniversary of the u.s.
consulate in benghazi. we can now go to our top story that is barack obama's speech and the diplomatic push forking the yrns issue. the speech was 15 minutes long. what would you take away aside from the fact that congress was going odelay the vote? >> well i hope it means that america is willing to take yes for an answer. i think he wasn't willing to kind of do a high-five but i think barack obama has dodged several bullets in this crisis. and emerged with some claim to having won. i think the american position of removing chemical warfare of not using force if at all possible are getting world support has a chance, a chance of working. >> now one of the points he made
is that there still might be the need to use force but it's not going to be a long drawn out affair like iraq or afghanistan. do you think americans and the rest of the world are convinced? >> sure. i mean force is never off the table in international politics. so that will remain, whether it's sanctioned by the united nations seems to be under debate right now. but i think more importantly is that the great powers have been drawn into the syrian crisis in a very public and a very transparent way. and that means they are not going to sacrifice relations to syrian politics and i think that's a very helpful sign. >> it's interesting though because he came -- he organized the speech before with a very strong case to make. and suddenly it seemed the wind was taken out of his sails. but he still decided he should -- he needs to go speak to the american people. do you think this is a very much watered-down version of what his
original point was? >> you know he gave the minimal speech. it was a 16-minute-long talk. he talked to what points he had made before. he made himself open for diplomatic solution and said force can't be off the table. he did what he had to do but the solution would be that congress wouldn't have to vote, a conclusion that everyone ambassadors including congress. >> gary vestman, good to speak to you. weeks now there's been another challenge. fuel supplies are running out. the tunnels widely used to smuggle goods are being shut down by the egyptian military. simon macgregor wood has the story. >> fuel is a daily relinquish e
cause is here just across the border in egypt. for weeks, the army has been 80% of its fuel used to come through tunnels. but the military backed government in cairo is cracking down on armed groups in sinai. it's saying they're getting help from gaza, that's why they are destroying the tunnels. relations withha with hamas hasr been worse. >> involved themselves in whatever happened with the muslim brotherhood, we say no it's actually all fake and it's not true. >> this latest crisis shows how dependent the people of gaza are on the fragile political
landscape around them. and in egypt it's changed dramatically. with regime change there one of gaza's vital supply lines seems to be changing. egyptian officials say the tunnels will not reopen. even the crossing for people has slowed for people. gaza's fuel is double the price and the israeli government is still reluctant to relax the issue, ordinary palestinians will suffer for other people's politics. simon macgregor wod, gaza (p) being held by the muslim separatist, muslim brotherhood. the military arrested 5 mls
brother hood. >> between the philippine government forces and national liberation front fighters. the city remains in lock down, the airport ask still in fact closed. over 180 civilians still remain hostage by mnlf fighters here in the city. it is becoming increase beingly a humanitarian concern. as more and more families remain trapped in the area where fighting is concentrated. they are unable to get food and help and it's unknown exactly what the situation is like in there. now it's unsure also whether negotiations are even underway. monday afternoon the mlnf actually made two demands that they be able to go to the center of their town and hoist their flag without getting shot at by
government sources. the national liberation front signed the peace agreement with the philippine government, that wasn'tfully implemented. they say these talks are not inclusive and does not represent the needs of the people in southern philippines. this seems to be what the founder of the mlnf is actually trying to say, no matter what the peace agreement the philippine government will have, this does not mean an end to the rebellion and the mill tarrization of mindanao. conviction of four men for gang rape, they could face the death penalty. a 23-year-old woman was raped in a moving bus in new delhi. widespread sexual violence and the treatment of women.
north and south korea have agreed to reom the kaison industrial zone. november 16th on a trial basis. the two koreas pulled out their workers because of rising tension in the area. home to more than 100 south korean factories, a sign of quoption between the two countries. five years after one of the country's worst oil spills, the country disputes the amount of the damage. report from bada in river state. christian capendai shows the damage to his fish pond. they were destroyed when a
knowledge oil barely burst, thousands of barrels of oil burst into the ponds. >> i discovered all the four fish ponds were covered with crude oil, i began to see the fish begin to escape for life but the whole place was dark. when i saw the money that have been put in and the label i nearly fainted. our livelihood is totally destroyed. for me to survive now, it is just by the gray. i who used to give to others is now become a beggar. i live on charity. >> shell agreed they caused the damage, they agree to clean up the area but disputes how serious the damage is. that could affect how much compensation it ultimately pays. shell says around 4,000 barrels of oil were spilled here but lawyers for the victim say it
was much higher, it was about 500,000 barrels. getting shell to pay any sort of compensation is a victory of the members, to get the company to accept responsibility, the nigerian government is now enacting a law that would help victims to get justice. >> we haven't had a framework clearly stating what is the responsibility of the responsible party where it has spilled. in fact i can tell you that it has been very economical to spill as many barrels of oil that you like in nigeria and go scot-free. >> christian hopes the new law will hold oil companies accountable when oil spills occur. but he's still very concerned about oil spills in the region. >> i believe that shell want to wipe away people of this area. that is so they can have their way. the god of the land and the almighty god, wants them to
escape all that they have done. >> shell says its compensation settlement will be fair and the cleanup of the area will be fair. river state, nigeria. germany's thomas park is president of the olympic committee. his first job is to oversee the 2014 games in the russian city of sochi and he has already been laying out his vision for the future. >> we should develop a project of sustainability and feasibility for the olympic games. we have to take care of the credibility and giving the ioc
members more possibilities to take part in the decision making of the ioc and we have to address the youth in a way that leads them to practicing sports. >> one of the best of new york's best known opera houses is just weeks away from being shut down for good. the city opera is millions of dollars in debt and now the local arts community is appealing for help. kath turner has this >> the grim reality of world war ii but now the company needs the public more than ever. in a severe money shortfall threatens its very existence. >> we can't run a deficit. we will simply close. >> has managed to are manage the
city's two annual budgets but not enough. it needs $7 million by the end of this month. if that goal is not achieved three productions will be cancelled and if the company can't raise a total of $20 million by the end of this year its entire 2014 - 2015 season will be wiped out. the nyc can't rely on the u.s. government for help. >> we make annual appeals and maybe we get $25,000 or maybe we don't. but in many european countries there are very significant federal subsidies the companies can count on year after year to help weather the vicissitudes of charitable giving. we don't have those safeguards. >> launched an appeal with kit starter accepting donations starting from $1. what the company really needs is a few gows donors to sign some
big checks. new york city doesn't have a permanent home. what i.t. dogs is permit here the brooklyn academy of music. that nomadic existence could be part of the problem. he believes city opera sacrificed its loyal fans when it moved out of its usual theater. >> when you have a loyal audience they come out of tradition. but if you have to find your opera company in four different theaters throughout the season, they are not going to go there. they want familiar seats and they want to go where they know. >> resources and opportunities for future generations of singers appear to be fading unless the public can save it from a final curtain call. cath turner al jazeera new york.